Wynne Should “Come Clean”….Before the Election!

News / Ontario Election 2014

Hudak, Horwath demand release of gas plant documents before election

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne must step in to make sure documents sought by police investigating the gas plants scandal are made public immediately for voters to see, opposition parties demanded Friday.

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne’s campaign says it's up to legislative staff, not politicians or political staff, to release documents requested by provincial police related to the deleted emails probe.

STEVE RUSSELL / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne’s campaign says it’s up to legislative staff, not politicians or political staff, to release documents requested by provincial police related to the deleted emails probe.

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne must step in to make sure documents sought by police investigating the gas plants scandal are made public immediately for voters to see, opposition parties demanded Friday.

The call came after the election campaign, in its final week, was jolted by revelations the OPP anti-rackets squad is seeking more detail in its probe into deleted emails.

Police made their request Thursday to legislative staff, not the premier’s office, with a 10-day deadline — but the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats insisted Wynne intervene given that voters are heading to the polls next Thursday.

“She has an obligation to do everything she can to make sure those documents get released,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath told a news conference at Queen’s Park.

“I’m sure a call from Kathleen Wynne will speed up the process. We shouldn’t have to wait until after June 12.”

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak agreed the public needs time to “digest” any information before heading to the polls.

“It is quite extraordinary that the elite anti-rackets squad from the OPP has to investigate the premier’s office in the first place,” Hudak told reporters following a breakfast speech to the Mississauga Board of Trade.

Hudak said because details on the gas plants scandal still remain secret he would call for a judicial inquiry into all aspects of the billion dollar spending scandals within the first 100 days of his government if the Tories are successful on June 12.

But until that happens, Hudak called for the same additional documents the OPP has asked for to be released publicly “because it’s the public whose trust has been betrayed by Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne on the gas plants scandal.”

“Just a few days ago I stood in a room with Kathleen Wynne for our televised leaders’ debate . . . and I saw her look into the camera and say that’s she’s different, that she’s changed things, that she would reveal all documents and that she was sorry. This tells us that they weren’t revealing all documents,” he said.

“Voters aren’t going to stand for a coverup. They want answers.”

Wynne’s campaign noted the OPP request was directed to legislative staff, not politicians or political staff. As such the matter is in the hands of legislative assembly administrators, they maintain.

It’s not clear whether any release of the information in question would interfere with the police investigation.

Wynne said Friday that the Liberals have “learned” lessons from the gas plants debacle, which could cost up to $1.1 billion over the next 20 years as plants slated for Oakville and Mississauga were cancelled before the 2011 election. The plants are being relocated to Sarnia and Napanee.

In her first public comments since it emerged the OPP interviewed McGuinty — but are not investigating him — Wynne said she introduced safeguards after taking over from him on Feb. 11, 2013.

“I’ve made sure that we changed the rules, that we actually put in place structures and laws, quite frankly,” she told CityTV’s Breakfast Television.

“The government didn’t continue but we had introduced legislation. We had changed the process around siting gas plants, energy infrastructure, the rules around document retention,” the Liberal leader said.

“We have learned from what happened. Doesn’t mean it should have happened. Not a good thing that it happened. But we have learned from it and made changes and those changes are what will ensure it won’t happen again.”

Her comments came after the OPP anti-rackets squad confirmed Thursday night that it met with the former premier in April.

OPP Detective Inspector Paul Beesley told the Star on Thursday night that McGuinty has been helpful to his probe.

“Dalton McGuinty has been co-operative with the OPP investigators and he is not the subject of our investigation at this time,” said Beesley, the anti-rackets squad detective in charge of the case.

On Thursday, the OPP says it “obtained a production order from the court in Ottawa for certain documents in relation to this ongoing investigation which it served on employees of the Ontario legislature in Toronto.”

Police are investigating allegations of deleted documents related to his cancellation of gas-fired power plants in Mississauga and Oakville before the 2011 election.

No charges have been laid and nothing has been proven in court.

McGuinty being interviewed is not surprising because the OPP has indicated he would be, but the revelation comes as Ontarians head to the polls next Thursday in an election that public opinion surveys suggest is too close to call.

 

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